Older women, and women who have experienced multiple in vitro fertilization (IVF) failures, may benefit from laser-assisted hatching techniques performed at our San Antonio fertility center. Before an embryo can implant into the lining of your uterus, which is vital before it can develop into a fetus, it must “hatch” from its outer shell, called the zona pellucida. As women age, these outer shells may thicken, making it more difficult for the embryo to break through. Many clinicians believe that creating a weak point in the shell can help the embryo’s chances of hatching and implanting into the lining of your uterus. Our doctors prefer to use a high-tech soft-tissue laser, which allows for very precise treatment. To find out if assisted hatching could improve the success of your IVF procedure, contact us today and schedule a consultation with one of our reproductive specialists.
How Laser-assisted Hatching Works
Some assisted hatching techniques utilize mechanical force or light acid digestion to create weak spots in the embryo’s shell. Instead, Drs. Martin, Neal, and Retzloff utilize an innovative microlaser for safer, faster, and more precise assisted hatching. The process involves firing a few concentrated pulses from the laser at the embryo’s outer shell, far away from the embryo to reduce the risk of cellular damage. Laser-assisted hatching techniques only take a few seconds per embryo, reducing the amount of time that each one is exposed outside of its incubator.
Candidates and Considerations for Laser-assisted Hatching
Laser-assisted hatching can help bolster your embryos’ ability to implant into your uterine lining, though it may not be preferable for every IVF procedure. You may be an excellent candidate for laser-assisted hatching if you:
- Are of advanced maternal age (> or = 38)
- Have elevated levels of follicle stimulating hormone (FSH)
- Have undergone previous IVF procedures where embryos failed to implant (but were otherwise in good health)
- Have slow-developing embryos
- Have especially thick egg shells
According to current research, laser-assisted hatching places you at no greater risk of developing abnormalities than a conventional IVF procedure without assisted hatching. The use of lasers may also reduce risks associated with other forms of assisted hatching, such as mechanical force and acid. If more than one embryo is transferred, however, then you may be at risk for multiple (twin or triplet) births.
Schedule a Consultation Today
Our goal is to help you overcome your infertility issues, whatever they may be, so that you can realize your dream of building a family. With more than 25 years of experience and leadership in providing assisted reproductive services, Drs. Martin, Neal, and Retzloff constantly study the latest infertility treatments and techniques to ensure our patients receive high-quality, personalized care. To learn more about laser-assisted hatching, IVF, and our other effective fertility procedures, schedule a consultation by calling or visiting the Fertility Center of San Antonio today. You can depend on us for advanced, compassionate care.